Laurel Cherry, Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana (Mill.) Ait.). Unrelated to the true laurel, Laurus nobilis, the laurel cherry is a member of the rose family. An evergreen upright medium-sized tree, it attains heights of up to 40 feet and is often found in upland areas of the coastal plain, where this native species is widely naturalized, in coastal hammocks, and on slopes of the Red Hills. It is prone to be found in disturbed sites (vacant lots, fence rows).

The bloom period, starting near the beginning of March is brief, about three weeks. Neither Arnold, Sanford, nor Horton and Thursby include it in their lists of Florida honey plants, but the Tupelo Beekeepers' Association notes its bloom period. Lovell reports that it is an excellent nectar source for stimulating brood rearing before the orange flow. In summary, bees do visit it eagerly, but its generally limited abundance precludes more than a modest role for it in this region's beekeeping.

laurel cherry



Nectar collection from Laurel Cherry (Thomas County, Georgia).

Southern Matters  
 FSU Herbarium